Once upon a time in a life that was mine but looked very different than mine does now, I was no stranger to diner booths. I was there for after-hours with theatre buddies. It was my go-to place for Thanksgiving pie. After a night of dancing, that was where I grabbed some appetizers. And when it came to their menu, if it was fried and battered, I probably had it and I probably liked it. If it included buffalo sauce generously co-mingling with ranch dressing, I definitely did.
Nowadays, diners don’t hold much of a draw for me for obvious reasons. I could probably scrape by at most places with a plain baked potato or iceberg lettuce dinner salad, but why bother? Plus, the scent of fried chickens’ eggs and old grease smells nauseating instead of appetizing. So what’s a buffalo sauce and ranch loving person to do?
Luckily, buffalo sauce need not be relegated to the proverbial closet to sit with three-inch high hair styles, stone-washed jeans, and re-runs of Doogie Howser, M.D. It may come as a surprise, but it seems almost every vegan food blog has a buffalo recipe, while letting the chickens keep the wings for themselves.
Cara at Fork and Beans has mouthwatering Baked Buffalo Tempeh Tenders and Kittee at Cake Maker to the Stars has eye-catching Rice Paper Rolls stuffed with Buffalo Soy Curls. Kristy at Keepin’ It Kind has Buffalo Cauliflower Pizza, which has piqued my interest for months. (When I was in Los Angeles recently I was able to try out the buffalo cauliflower from Mohawk Bend. Fantastic.) And in fact, while I was in the process of writing this recipe and post, Erin at Olives for Dinner posted an amazing looking Buffalo Chickpea Taco recipe. The vegan world is overflowing in buffalo sauce!
My contribution into the world of buffalo-spiked goodness are these Buffalo Chickpea Salad Sandwiches. The sandwiches are a combination of buffalo chickpeas and classic (eggless) mayo-based salad sandwiches. In this sandwich Frank’s Red Hot Sauce, my preferred hot sauce when it comes to all things buffalo, mixes with the elements of ranch dressing for one messy conglomeration.
This sandwich can be made two ways. One option is the lazy person’s method, which takes just 5 minutes to put together. The other option is only slightly more involved, delivering a hot sandwich with roasted chickpeas, and still only clocking in at 25 minutes. This sandwich would be a terrific option for a Saturday afternoon, a cold packed lunch, a picnic possibility, or really anytime when you need something hot and spicy in your life.
Buffalo Chickpea Salad Sandwiches
Buffalo Ranch Sauce
- ¼ cup eggless mayonnaise
- 3 Tablespoons hot sauce (Frank’s Red Hot Sauce is my preferred sauce for buffalo anything)
- ¼ teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ teaspoon celery seed
- ¼ teaspoon dried dill
- 1 stalk celery, chopped small
In a medium-sized bowl, stir the eggless mayonnaise, hot sauce, onion powder, celery seed, and dried dill until fully combined. Stir in the chopped celery.
- 1 ½ cups chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil (Omit for 5 minute version)
- 1 teaspoon nutritional yeast flakes (Omit for 5 minute version)
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Put the chickpeas onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Drizzle the extra virgin olive oil and nutritional yeast flakes onto the chickpeas and combine. Spread the chickpeas across the parchment paper for even roasting. Roast for 15 minutes, stopping once half way through to shake the pan and move the chickpeas for even roasting.
Add the warm chickpeas to the bowl with the buffalo sauce and fully combine. Put the buffalo chickpea salad on any of the suggested bread options & top it with any of the suggested condiments.
Suggested bread options: Buns, tortillas, or forgo the bread altogether and stuff the buffalo chickpea salad into endive cups or romaine lettuce leaves
Suggested condiments: Pickles, mustard, onions, lettuce
Five minute version: Don’t bother roasting the chickpeas. Instead, skip over the roasting section, add the drained and rinsed chickpeas into the bowl with the buffalo sauce, and combine until fully coated. If desired, warm the chickpea mixture in a pot on the stove or in the microwave before adding it to one of the suggested bread options & topping it with any of the suggested condiments.